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Olsen rebrands in bid to be more trend-led

Olsen, the German middle-market womenswear brand, is updating its image to become more trend-led in a strategy that will be spearheaded in the UK by new managing director Louise Sutton.

Olsen will relaunch its website, refit its concessions and alter its ad campaigns after market research showed its core customers wanted its collections to be more fashionable. The move echoes a broader strategy by brands in the troubled German womenswear sector for spring 10, including the launch of Basler’s younger, directional MYBC collection and the introduction of more contemporary ranges by Bianca and Gerry Weber.

Olsen group chief executive Carl Michael Wolff said: “Business in the UK became tough even before the financial crisis but it is picking up. Spring 10 orders in the UK were up on spring 09.”
Sutton will drive the changes at Olsen’s UK division, which includes 25 concessions and 70 wholesale stockists. Sutton, formerly business director of outlet operator Freeport, was appointed after Charlotte McHardy resigned to become managing director of United Clothing, the UK distributor of the Sandwich brand.

As Drapers went to press, Olsen was set to relaunch its website to feature an interactive function allow-ing consumers a 360-degree view of clothes and to access information about the design and production of each piece. However, the site will not go transactional in the UK until 2010.

Olsen will also refocus its spring 10 advertising campaign to feature women aged in their 40s and 50s, rather than 20s. It will also concentrate heavily on knitwear to reflect the brand’s heritage.

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